Tag Archives: dinner

Healthy Cheeseburger Pasta

I have a dirty little secret, when I lived at my parents house, my mom would make Cheeseburger Hamburger Helper and I loved it.  I’m not sure my dad was wild about it and my husband isn’t wild about it (I’m certain it has something to do with not cooking and sometimes trying to get in and out of the kitchen as fast as possible, they don’t do it so they don’t understand!)  I haven’t had it in years cause I know it’s not healthy or good for you, so I just don’t buy it, but I still love it!

When I created this recipe, I had no idea how much it would taste like that dish.  I love butternut squash and sweet potatoes, but I not crazy about sweet dishes, despite all the desserts on this site.  And this recipe doesn’t make the butternut squash sweet it’s just savory tasting, and it’s just good!! Kids will love it and only you know it’s good for them.

It takes me right back to living at home having Hamburger Helper but this ones healthy and good for you, with real cheese, turkey burger, rotini noodles and some pasta water to make the sauce…. it’s so good, and good for you, but probably not if you eat it all at one sitting and I could have without any problems!


Start out roasting some butternut squash with some olive oil, salt and pepper



Meanwhile that’s in the oven, boil some noodles and saute some garlic in another pan, then add the turkey burger

When the squash is done, add it to the hamburger mixture and when the noodles are almost done, drain them in a colander with a bowl under it to catch the water and add the noodles to the pan with the hamburger and squash.  Stir in parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese and at least a cup of the pasta water





I baked mine in the oven, but you could just melt the cheese while it’s on the stove, but I had a new pan that will go from the stove to the oven and I wanted to try it out… sue me I was just showing off my new bling!

If at the end, it needs more creaminess add more pasta water… It’s so good!

You can mash the squash up more if you have picky eaters, but in my house this is a hit just the way it is! Or you could use a food processor or blender and add the pasta water and the squash and no one will know what it is…..


Healthy Cheeseburger Pasta

2 1/2 to 3 cups of Butternut Squash, cubed

1 lb. ground turkey

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 box  Rotini Pasta or other short cut pasta

1 to 2 cups of reserved pasta water

1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese

1/4 cup mozzarella Cheese

Olive oil, salt & pepper

Heat oven to 400 degrees and on a rimmed baking sheet(you can line it if you want for easier clean up) drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle on salt and pepper.  Roast squash for 15 minutes, turn and check after another 15 minutes to see if it’s tender, if it is then it’s done, if not continue to roast for a few more minutes.  Meanwhile cook pasta according to directions and in another pan, add a TBSP of olive oil and garlic, cook for a minute, then add ground turkey and cook turkey until it’s done.

When the pasta is done, drain in colander over a bowl and add pasta and roasted squash to pan with ground turkey.  Stir together, mashing the squash if desired and add a 1/2 to 1 of the pasta water and add cheeses.  Stir together and taste, add additional salt and pepper to taste, if it’s too thick add additional pasta water. You can melt cheese while on the stove top or in the oven.









Healthy Barbecue Turkey Meatloaf Cupcakes



CHICKEN N PASTA AND MEATLOAF CUP CAKES 034I’ve been making this Turkey Meatloaf for years and my daughter loves it, but this time I thought I’d make them into cupcakes(portion control this way!)  They were delicious and will be great for her to take for lunch all week, add potatoes to the oven while you bake the cupcakes and dinners off to a fast start.




You can  put together meal this week really quickly, just add everything to the bowl and mix up with your hands. Turkey burger, egg, panko bread crumbs, worcestershire sauce and barbecue sauce, then portion the mixture out in 8 cups in your muffin tin bake for 35 to 40 minutes until cooked through and serve.  Best part is, most of the time your just baking them, so it hands off, and like I said throw some potatoes in the oven while the cupcakes are baking, add a salad and dinner’s done!



Healthy Barbecue Turkey Meatloaf Cupcakes

  • Servings: 4
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1 lb. ground turkey

1/2 onion grated

1 egg

1/4 cup panko bread crumbs


2 TBSP Worcestershire  Sauce

1/4 cup of barbecue sauce


Barbecue sauce

In a large bowl combine everything except the drizzling barbecue sauce in together with your hands or a large spoon and divide meatloaf into 8 muffin cups, drizzle with additional barbecue sauce and smear it over the tops with a spoon or you fingers and bake at 350 for 30 to 40 minutes and serve.  Like I said, throw some potatoes into the oven while the meatloaves  are baking, they make take a little more time than the meatloaves so throw them in first and the majority of your meal is done.











Vegetable Beef Soup and a Money Saving Tip!


This was a part of my weekend adventure in cooking. Soup! It was so good, we got 11 inches of snow where I live Saturday, so I cooked all day. It was fun to stay home and just cook and hang out, because we couldn’t go anywhere.  The snow kinda happen perfect, we went out Friday night and stayed home the rest of the weekend.  We had plenty of food and a warm house and 2 fun girls to take outside and play with!

soup-casserole-cake-042 soup-casserole-cake-033

They had a little soup too and thought it was quite tasty! Here’s the money-saving tip I’m going to give you about stew or soup meat.  If you go to the store and see a cheap steak or a steak that’s been marked down because the need to sell it, buy it, and freeze it and when you want to make soup, pull it out and cut it into small chunks and you’ll save yourself a ton of money.  Whenever I price stew meat, I nearly have a heart attack at the price.  And  that’s what the butcher does, is he takes a cheap piece of meat, cuts it into pieces and marks it up!.  Please do not worry too much about how you cut it up, it’s going to cook for a long time, either in a slow cooker or on the stove, so it will be tender and you’ll save big time for about 5 minutes worth of work.

Steak actually cuts easier if it’s slightly frozen, so if you’re just taking it out of the freezer, slice it into chunks before it completely thaws.


I got a pound of little round steaks marked down a couple of months ago for around $3.00 and Saturday morning, I took them out of the freezer, let them thaw a little on the counter, and while they were still slightly frozen I cut them up into chunks.


I put a little olive oil, the steak, some celery and onion and browned everything in the bottom of a dutch oven.


Add some beef broth, vegetable-beef-soup-12

a bag of frozen veggies


a can of tomatoes, a can of water and a couple of potatoes cut into chunks.  It’s important that when you start with the beef, you salt and pepper, and when you add the veggies, broth, tomatoes and potatoes you add salt  and pepper again.  Everything you’re adding, except the broth is bland, with no seasoning, so seasoning as you go along helps flavor everything.

I brought it up to a boil(wished I had used a bigger pot….hindsight!) turned it down to simmer, and let it hang out on the stove for a couple of hours.  If you were using a slow cooker, you could brown you meat and then dump everything in the crock pot, or you could just dump everything without brown the meat, if you do this, omit the olive oil.

This is a great meal for a cold and snowy day.  Just add biscuits, sandwiches or a salad for a great dinner.

Another great thing to do on a cold and snowy day


Potpourri, just combine cinnamon sticks, an orange and some cloves in a pot of small slow cooker with water and your house will smell amazing!

Vegetable Beef Soup

2 TBSP. olive oil

1 lb. of steak, cut into chunks

2 stalks of celery, diced

1 small onion, diced

2 cups beef broth

1 14.5 can of dice tomatoes

1 16 oz. bag of mixed vegetables

3 medium potatoes, diced

1 can of water(use the tomato can)

salt & pepper

1 tsp. garlic powder

In a large pot or dutch oven, heat olive oil, add steak, celery and onions, salt and pepper. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until brown, then add broth, tomatoes, vegetables, potatoes, water, salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Bring it to a boil, and turn to low and let it just simmer for 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally, as taste before serving to see if you need to add more salt or pepper.  In a slow cooker, you can still brown your meat in a skillet and then dump everything in the slow cooker or just dump everything in the slow cooker and cook for 6 hours on low or 4 hours on high. And always taste to see if it needs seasoning.